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Aircrew Safety Award of Distinction.

Capt Dickens, student pilot, and 1Lt Conrad, student Weapon Systems Officer, were on initial takeoff as number two of a two ship F-15E formal training syllabus sortie, when the landing gear would not retract. The crew also noted a Utility Hydraulic Circuit A caution light at the same time. The crew turned towards the fuel dump area, coordinated a rejoin with the lead aircraft, and began to run the four different checklists required to safely recover the aircraft. Since the aircraft was configured with external wing tanks, the crew was also required to run the Emergency Fuel Transfer/Dump checklist in order to reduce to a gross weight compatible with the BAK 12 arresting gear. After completing all required emergency actions, the crew set up for a visual straight-in and approach end arrestment. Capt Dickens flew a flawless approach and landing, successfully engaging the approach end BAK-12 at 142 KCAS. After coming to a stop, the aircraft began to roll back, which Capt Dickens countered with a small power increase. As the aircraft rolled back, it began a violent, uncommanded swing to the right. After turning nearly 135 degrees to the right, the aircraft then began to roll back towards the left edge of the runway. Quickly realizing that the aircraft might depart the runway, Capt Dickens pulled the Emergency Brake/Steer handle and applied wheel brakes in time to stop the impending departure. Emergency response personnel were then able to safely approach the aircraft to assist the crew in a safe shutdown and cable extraction. The superior knowledge, excellent crew coordination, and expeditious, correct actions of Capt Dickens and 1Lt Conrad led to the safe recovery of a valuable combat asset and ensured the safety of the aircrew and ground personnel.

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Title Annotation:Monthly Award Winners; U. S. Air Force
Publication:Combat Edge
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2004
Previous Article:Eye on safety.
Next Article:Flight Line Safety Award of Distinction.

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